Friday, March 30, 2018

My Most Anticipated Releases for April


It's time for another new month of book releases to look forward to! Three of these I already have (True Fiction, Black Chuck, and Sky in the Deep) and hope to read very soon. :)

APRIL 1

APRIL 3

Tuesday, March 27, 2018

My SVT Story [1 Month Post-Ablation]

For previous posts, click the label "SVT" at the end of this post or at the bottom of my blog.

I'm officially one month out from my ablation. My heart has been doing pretty well, my mind...not so much. Last update, I spoke on some post-ablation complications. I believe that the pulmonary embolism is a result of the ablation, but I will be getting more information on Friday when I see my electrophysiologist for a follow-up appointment for the pulmonary embolism. Because I believe it's a result of the ablation, I do want to talk about how it's affecting me and my healing process. I'm sure I'm not the only one who has been here post-procedure.

I have gone to the ER three times in the last week. I went for upper back pain and was concerned that it was related to the embolism, but it's most likely due to the amount of stress I'm under. I have knots in my back and it's causing some pain in my back, shoulders, and neck. I went the day after that because I knocked my head on a windowsill and was told if I hit my head, to go to the ER because I am on a blood thinner (that doesn't have an antidote). It wasn't a hard hit and I didn't have any symptoms that would be cause for concern, so I was sent on my way. Then I went yesterday because I was having a little chest pain, again concerned it was related to the embolism. They ran bloodwork and watched vitals. Everything looks good - no heart attack, no damage to my heart, and the blood thinners are working to keep new clots from forming.

I really do feel like my anxiety is back to the levels it was like after I was diagnosed with SVT before I could really get enough information about the condition. I am hoping to be somewhat okay until Friday after hearing that everything looks good and that I continue to work on being less anxious. I am looking forward to my 6 week check-up (which is scheduled at 8 weeks) because I would like to start doing yoga again. I think it will really help me a lot. Especially with the muscle knots and soreness.

Book Review: Kasey & Ivy by Alison Hughes

Publish Date: March 20, 2018
190 Pages [Kindle edition]
Published by Orca Book Publishers

Monday, March 26, 2018

Peep My Planner: Scribble Prints Co {Easter}

MENTIONED:
Scribble Prints Co: https://www.etsy.com/shop/ScribblePrintsCo

MY PLANNER & ACCESSORIES:
Erin Condren Colorful Vertical 12m - get $10 off your first order with my referral link: https://erincondren.com/referral/invite/sarahellis0916
Papermate Inkjoy Gel 0.7


Tuesday, March 20, 2018

Top Ten Books On My Spring TBR

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly bookish meme hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl. More information here.


I was kind of stumped on what to put for my Spring TBR as March is more than halfway over and I only really have plans for April. I consider March, April, and May to be "Spring", even though May feels like more of a summer month here in Tennessee. I ended up looking back to my Top Ten Winter TBR post from November 2017. I have only read one of them. So here are my top ten books on my spring TBR:

  1. Any of the books from my Top Ten Winter TBR - I own all but a couple of these. The ones I don't own, I will probably borrow from my library.
  2. Scarlet by Marissa Meyer - I would love to continue (and finish) the Lunar Chronicles. It's been years since I've read Cinder, but I loved it and it's the perfect time to pick it back up.
  3. A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. Maas - I have finally dove into the world of Sarah J. Maas. It took me long enough, but here I am.
  4. The Hazel Wood by Melissa Albert - I received this book in my February Owlcrate box. I would like to read this sooner rather than later. I'm trying to keep up with my Owlcrate books to justify receiving them to myself :)
  5. Everless by Sara Holland - I received this book in the December (?) Fairy Loot box. It's been on my radar for forever and I probably should have read it by now.
  6. Nevernight by Jay Kristoff - Nevernight was actually on my winter TBR, so I guess that means I really need to read it. My husband read it and loved it.
  7. Unwind by Neal Shusterman - I picked this novel up at our local bookstore after my husband read Scythe and needed more from Shusterman. He's read the sequel to Unwind and Scythe already...I really need to get around to reading it.
  8. Black Chuck by Regan McDonell - this is a Netgalley book that I have that is going to be published April 3rd. I would like to read and review it prior to publication.
  9. Seeker of the Crown by Ruth Lauren - another Netgalley book that is going to be published April 3rd. It's the sequel to Prisoner of Ice and Snow, a middle grade novel I read and reviewed for Netgalley in December.
  10. Sky in the Deep by Adrienne Young - I won an ARC in a Goodreads giveaway and I've read an excerpt in a Buzz Books collection. I am probably the most excited to read it because it is VIKINGS. I grew up in small town Minnesota and my Norwegian heritage was really important to me. We celebrated Norwegian holidays and ate Norwegian cuisine. So Vikings and Nordic noir are really important to me too :)
What books are on your Spring TBR?
Have you read any of these books -  which should I start with?

Monday, March 19, 2018

Peep My Planner: Creating and Co {Spring in the Air}


MENTIONED:
Creating & Co: https://www.etsy.com/shop/creatingandco

MY PLANNER & ACCESSORIES:

Erin Condren Colorful Vertical 12m - get $10 off your first order with my referral link: https://erincondren.com/referral/invite/sarahellis0916
Pilot G2 0.7

Monday, March 12, 2018

Peep My Planner: Scribble Prints Co {March 2017 Mystery}

MENTIONED:
Scribble Prints Co: https://www.etsy.com/shop/ScribblePrintsCo

MY PLANNER & ACCESSORIES:
Erin Condren Colorful Vertical 12m - get $10 off your first order with my referral link: https://erincondren.com/referral/invite/sarahellis0916
Papermate Inkjoy Gel 0.7


Saturday, March 10, 2018

My SVT Story [Post-Ablation Complications]

For previous posts, click the label "SVT" at the end of this post or at the bottom of my blog.

Day 7 started off with me feeling horribly and I thought it was due to asthma and not using my inhaler the night prior. I tried to suck it up and use Tylenol, hot tea, and cough drops but nothing was soothing enough, so I went to my dr office at 4 and saw a nurse practitioner. She tested me for strep, listened to my chest, etc. and sent me home with a prescription for steroids. I was going to have to call my electrophysiologist in the morning to ensure I could take them safely.

I felt some chest tightness when I went to bed and felt uncomfortable. I decided to go to the ER because I knew I wasn't going to sleep anyways. I got there about 10:45pm. They did bloodwork, urinalysis, EKG, and flu swab. I came back with a positive flu test and then the dr (who was the same one from my last SVT episode) ordered a CT scan for pulmonary embolism due to just having the ablation.

I do have a small embolism but it is not putting any strain on the right side of my heart, which is good. I got a shot of blood thinner and then got prescriptions for a blood thinner, plus Tamiflu and Zofran. I then had to get an ultrasound done on my legs to check for deep vein thrombosis. I was clear there *phew*

I am hoping since I had just started having symptoms that the Tamiflu will help make it short and not as severe. It definitely worries me with my heart already trying to heal to be hit with not just the flu but a blood clot too. I haven't had much luck hearing good things or anything hopeful post-pulmonary embolism and that definitely freaks me out. From what I understand, it's called a "provoked embolism" because of the catheter ablation. Someone was telling another person who had had surgery that the likelihood of recurrence is not high with a provoked one and I really hope that's true because I really don't want to have another thing to worry about on top of everything else. I'm sure that I'll end up seeing a hematologist just to be on the safe side.

Friday, March 9, 2018

February Book Haul


My February haul is SO much better than previous months. I only purchased 8 books total. 3 were physical books and 5 were Kindle editions. I have read 1 of the 8 already, so that's also good. Hoping that I can continue a smaller number of books each haul for the rest of the year and hopefully read MORE books that I physically have. I actually redid my Goodreads shelves and made exclusive shelves for how many Kindle books and physical books I have and those numbers are NOT small.
  1. Georgia Peaches and Other Forbidden Fruit by Jaye Robin Brown - purchased Kindle edition from Amazon for $1.99
  2. The World of Laura Ingalls Wilder by Marta McDowell - purchased Kindle edition from Amazon for $1.99
  3. The Hating Game by Sally Thorne - purchased paperback from Amazon for $8.69
  4. Resurrecting Sunshine by Laura A. Koosis - purchased Kindle edition from Amazon for $0.99 
  5. The Last Namasara by Kristen Ciccarelli - purchased Kindle edition from Amazon for $1.99
  6. They Both Die at the End by Adam Silvera - purchased Kindle edition from Amazon for $1.99 
  7. Wildwood by Colin Meloy - purchased hardcover from McKays for $9.00 
  8. Daughter of the Siren Queen by Trisha Levenseller - preordered hardcover from Amazon for $12.32
Have you read any of these books?
What books did you pick up in February?
What book are you most anticipating reading?

Wednesday, March 7, 2018

My SVT Story [Part 7, 1 Week Post-Ablation]

Previous posts: Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4, Part 5, Part 6

Friday (3 days after) - I was supposed to be back to regular routine today, but I'm still taking it easy. Eating breakfast was okay this morning. I still haven't really felt hungry or full yet, but there wasn't as much nausea or discomfort and bloating post meal. Last night I had a few fluttery type deals. I don't know if they are PVCs or PACs or both. One is a skipped beat and one is when a beat happens too quickly. I think it's the latter, but they are fluttery rather than a jolt. I know it's normal and it's gonna happen while my heart heals, but I do NOT like it. It definitely makes me feel anxious. The good news is that it isn't kicking me into SVT like it would have before. I feel my baseline heartrate has come down since being in the hospital. The wounds at my groin and collarbone haven't bruised yet and I don't feel lumps, so they are healing up well.

Monday (6 days after) - I didn't experience any irregular/skipped heartbeats over the weekend and my appetite is slowly coming back. Although over the course of the past week, I have lost 4 lbs because of my lack of an appetite. I'm sure once normal eating resumes, I'll probably gain that back. I'm still more tired than normal and hoping that kind of goes away sooner rather than later. Today is my first day home alone. Nick was able to take two PDO and then worked from home for two days, but his boss's boss isn't really the biggest fan of people working remote (even though Nick, I think, probably works harder from home because he doesn't want anyone to think he is slacking). I was hoping he could stay home today and allow me to do all the things I normally would, but just be here as a safety net. Unfortunately, I'm just flying solo today.

Tuesday (7 days after) - I did pretty well solo yesterday. I did make dinner and had one little hiccup beat near the end, so I may bring a chair in with me tonight to sit down. I think my seasonal allergies are starting to act up and irritate my asthma and I was too scared to use my inhaler last night, even though it's on my medication to continue at home list. So now I have a sore throat from hacking all night -_- Overall though, I'm mostly just a little more tired than normal and I have been having anxiety at night more than during the day.

Books I Read in February


In February, I finished 7 books and DNF'd 2.
  • Gemina by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff (659 pages, 2016, Hardcover, YA Sci Fi) - 4 stars | My Review
  • Hello, Universe by Erin Entrada Kelly (320 pages, 2017, Hardcover, Middle Grade Contemporary) - 5 stars | My Review
  • This Heart of Mine by CC Hunter (384 pages, 2018, Kindle, YA Contemporary) - 3.5 stars | My Review  
  • Scythe by Neal Shusterman (435 pages, 2016, Hardcover, YA Dystopia) - 5 stars | My Review
  • The Hating Game by Sally Thorne (384 pages, 2016, Paperback, Adult Contemporary) - 5 stars | My Review 
  • The Serpent King by Jeff Zentner (384 pages, 2016, Kindle, YA Contemporary) - 1 star | DNF Review // DNF @ 80 pages
  • A Study in Charlotte by Brittany Cavallaro (334 page, 2017, Paperback, YA Mystery) - 1 star | DNF Review // DNF @ 58 pages 
  • Girls Made of Snow and Glass by Melissa Bashardoust (384 pages, 2017, Kindle, YA Fantasy) - 4 stars | My Review 
  • Banana Cream Pie Murder by Joanne Fluke (403 pages, 2018, Paperback, Adult Mystery) - 2 stars | My Review
Pages read: 2969
Pages DNF: 138
Average pages read per day: 110
Total pages:3107

Tuesday, March 6, 2018

Top Ten Favorite Book Quotes

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly bookish meme hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl. More information here.

I have really gotten into saving book quotes on Goodreads lately. I've been tabbing (and highlighting in Kindle) my favorites and I've found so many great quotes. If you follow me on Goodreads, I believe you'll see them as I save/share them. Some of these are my all-time favorite quotes and others are just more recent favorites.
  1. “"A reader lives a thousand lives before he dies," said Jojen. "The man who never reads lives only one.”" - George R.R. Martin in A Dance for Dragons
  2. "If you are allergic to a thing, it is best not to put that thing in your mouth, particularly if the thing is cats." - Lemony Snicket in The Wide Window
  3. "Control is an illusion. Expectations will not rule my days. Not anymore." - Renee Adhieh in Flame in the Mist
  4. "“But I don’t want to go among mad people," Alice remarked. "Oh, you can’t help that," said the Cat: "we’re all mad here. I’m mad. You’re mad." "How do you know I’m mad?" said Alice. "You must be," said the Cat, "or you wouldn’t have come here.”" - Lewis Carroll in Alice In Wonderland
  5. "It does not do to dwell on dreams and forget to live." - JK Rowling in Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone
  6. "Everything in the universe was thought to be magic once, before we came to understand it. We thought the stars were magic, but they aren't, are they? They're just hydrogen and helium and light traveling through space." - Lauren DeStefano in The Glass Spare
  7. "And in my experience, well-read people are less likely to be evil." - Lemony Snicket in The Slippery Slope
  8. "People aren't either wicked or noble. They're like chef's salads, with good things and bad things chopped and mixed together in a vinaigrette of confusion and conflict." - Lemony Snicket in The Grim Grotto
  9. "White shouldn't be the default any more than straight should be the default. There shouldn't even be a default." - Becky Albertalli in Simon Vs. The Homo sapiens Agenda
  10. "Hope in the shadow of fear is the world's most powerful motivator." - Neal Shusterman in Scythe

Monday, March 5, 2018

Peep My Planner: Creating and Co {Spring into Books}

I attempted to use the Erin Condren dual-tip marker in black on the medium side and it was way too thick. Then I switched over to the fine side and it was okay. I have also used a Sharpie pen in medium and a Pilot G2 .7. So basically I couldn't decide what I wanted for my pen. The only stickers that are not Creating & Co are the soccer practice stickers on Wednesday and Thursday. They are from Love, Shaira.

MENTIONED:
Creating & Co: https://www.etsy.com/shop/creatingandco
Love, Shaira: https://www.etsy.com/shop/LoveShaira

MY PLANNER & ACCESSORIES:
Erin Condren Colorful Vertical 12m - get $10 off your first order with my referral link: https://erincondren.com/referral/invite/sarahellis0916

#AYearAThon [March TBR]

Each first full week of the month, a #AYearAThon readathon is held and there are themes and challenges for each month. In the month of March, the theme is RETELLINGS with the challenge of reading marathoning series. It runs from March 5-11.

I have chosen two books and both are part of a series. One I've already started, but wouldn't mind finishing. The other is a very popular series that I wouldn't mind marathoning if it's good.


Scarlet // A Court of Thorn and Roses

Updated on 3/12: This past week has definitely not been easy going. I'm still trying to recover from my ablation. Tuesday marked 1 week and I went into the ER with a severe sore throat, runny nose, and chest tightness just to find out that I had the flu and a pulmonary embolism. So I have been anxious and unable to concentrate on reading. I started ACOTAR and sat at 1% until Friday. I think I actually read the most on Sunday. I'm not mad about it. This #AYearAThon just fell on a bad week...or rather a bad week fell on this readathon week. I am not participating in any other readathons this month, so I can concentrate on finishing my TBR and there is little stress if  I don't :)

Total books finished: 0
Total pages read: 47
 

Friday, March 2, 2018

My SVT Story [Part 6, Post-Ablation News]

Previous posts: Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4, Part 5

Hello, hello! I'm alive and well and here to talk about my experience with the ablation. I did as much mental preparing as possible but still cried quite a bit the night before and the morning of. We arrived at the hospital and did all the paperwork, paid for some of the procedure (OUCH), and proceeded to the heart catherization lab. I went back around 7:30 or so and had to give a urine sample. I got into my gown. They took vitals and started an iv - all the typical stuff. My husband got to come back and hang out with me until it was time to go back to the procedure room. He told me that the receptionist (who was this sweet little ole lady) told him that she had been working there 16 years and not once had a patient died. Nick helped get my earrings out (which are a pain in the butt because they are hoops that sit right up against my lobe and clasp shut on a hinge) and then around 8am they took me back to the procedure room.

The nurses were all very sweet and talked with me to distract me. Anesthesiologist came in and put a mask on me while another nurse administered meds to put me under. My husband got updates every so often while I was under. They were a little behind schedule because they needed some equipment that wasn't there, so they really didn't get started until about 9am. By 10:30, they had done one burn and were sitting and waiting. Pretty much that's how it's done. They burn, watch, and repeat, if needed. I ended up having a stubborn fiber that had to be burned three times. But I was done at 12:30 and Nick got to see me before they took me back to recovery. Apparently, I was awake, but they told him I probably wouldn't remember it.

I didn't really become conscious and aware until about 1:55pm. Even then, I struggled to try and stay awake to hear the news. I didn't know if they had got it or if they had punctured a lung, etc. Especially since it was a little later than I had expected to be awake. I finally was mostly awake around 2:30 and the doctor came in to tell me it was a success. Honestly, the biggest problems I had when I woke up were that my lower back was killing me and my throat felt super raw and also hurt quite a bit. The lower back can be explained from laying flat on the procedure bed for so long - my butt is big and doesn't allow my back to rest so it was arched for a while. I asked my nurse if there was a reason my throat might be sore and she said they intubated me - which is standard during one of those procedures (no one warned me of this ahead of time). They also had put a catheter in because of the length of my procedure which I was really glad for. I did ask the nurse prior to the procedure if they would because when I was put under when I was 4, I remember I had peed myself.

I got up to a hospital room around 3. I was taken off of bedrest at 5:30, although the anethesia still made me feel heavy and it was hard to move. It literally felt like when I had had an epidural. I tried to eat dinner but my throat was still a little too sore and I didn't really feel hungry.

As far as my heart goes, I had a few skipped beats that first day, which is to be expected. I would feel flutters when I tried to get up to go to the bathroom. I did kind of have a moment of panic because my heartbeat felt fast, but the nurse reassured me it was only 115 and that was just slightly higher than it had been since recovery (90 to 110). They gave me a dose of Ativan and some Tylenol and I was able to fall asleep a little after 8 pm.

I woke up at 5:30 am because they were drilling in the room below me and scared the bejesus out of me. I was able to eat all of my scrambled eggs and part of my biscuit with butter and jam on it for breakfast. They started my discharge papers about 9 am and I was outta there by 10:30.

At home, I still just felt a little sore. I didn't really have much discomfort in my puncture sites. It's really just my throat that's the worst part. I did have some more flutters in the early afternoon when I stood up and walked to the car. I didn't want to be left alone, so I rode with Nick to get the big kids from school, go to allergy shots, and get gas in the car. We pretty much stayed in the car, so I wasn't moving around much. When we got home, I didn't have any flutters getting out of the car and haven't had any since. I did have to take another dose of Ativan to be able to fall asleep last night - because I'm a crazy person and sometimes can't stop my mind from freaking myself out. The nurse at the hospital said usually the dr doesn't prescribe anxiety meds, but he did for me. She said to continue Ativan at home as needed.

I'm currently writing this on Thursday and again, not really in any pain. No discomfort. The very little walking I have done has been okay. The dr instructed sedentary activity for Wednesday and Thursday, back to normal on Friday (including being able to drive). I was instructed to limit lifting more than 10 pounds for a week or until my wounds heal. I am going to play it by ear. My wounds look really good. I haven't had any bleeding, oozing, etc. No lumps or bruises (yet). There is a little pain but it's only when they are physically touched. My collarbone wound isn't tender to the touch at all.

So far, the only thing I have noticed that is "off" is that I do get some discomfort in my stomach after eating. I'm still not really feeling hungry, but I have eaten and each time, my stomach feels bloated and slightly achy.

I will be back in a few weeks for more recovery news. As I've said, it's really not nearly as bad as I expected. I am tired for sure, but pain-wise, it's all low. I haven't had any Tylenol today. A little discomfort after eating. But that's about it :)


Thursday, March 1, 2018

March Monthly TBR & Challenge Updates


I am writing this a few days before the first (on Sunday the 25th) because I may or may not be in the hospital when this goes live. I'm getting my ablation on Feb 27 and if all goes well, I should be home the next day. I finished 6 books as of the 25th of February and I am not sure if I will finish more or not. I assume I will probably be pretty sleepy following my ablation and if not, taking full advantage of HGTV and Food Network at the hospital LOL. My goals for March are fairly low. I have my Owlcrate book, two books for the #AYearathon readathon, a Netgalley book, and a book I won via a Goodreads giveaway. None of these are MUSTS, but I would at the very least like to read the five of them in the month of March. Not only is my ablation recovery happening, so is soccer. Games start midmonth and that means it's going to be CRAZY again. Fingers crossed for a good reading month though! I am totally optimistic that I can finish all 5 of these books. Update 3/1: I did finish one more book, bringing my total to 7 for February.

My Tentative TBR for March:
  • The Hazel Wood by Melissa Albert
  • Scarlet by Marissa Meyer [for #AYearathon]
  • A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. Maas [for #AYearathon]
  • Kasey & Ivy by Allison Hughes
  • Sky in the Deep by Adrienne Young